Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - July 2010

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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Fri Jul 30
noon - no walk for Yoshi as I needed to do Trek's nails.
Trek is going to Rachelle's agility class at Sharon's so she's going to work with me this afternoon.
(Trek had fun at work, even got to practice her down stay at times, and she got to demo her jumping skills by jumping over a seated person's outstretched legs which provided much amusement.)

[after class.]
WELL this is a fine dilemma.  She did perfect.  Before class I took her up to the upper field to see if she would do the contact equipment.  She hopped right up on the dogwalk with no hesitation, did a tunnel and a jump and aimmed her at the teeter but didn't tell her to do it.  She went right up and did it.  Then she later did the A-Frame and the teeter again.  Then the class started and I watched this with interest as it's usually not her teeter but the other teeter sounds, and then she won't do a teeter.  Not this time.  other dogs did the teeter and she was able to do one.  I had her off leash when I was setting a jump and she went and did another one by herself (we were walking past it and I wasn't even looking at it - in fact I was ahead of it.  She's happy.  No stress panting.  No trembling.

So what does this mean?  Sharon's teeter is noisy, but she was able to do it and has been for a while now. However sometimes she won't do it when it's on the lower field.  This implies that in narrower confines the sound is intensified.  Power Paws field is open on one side but there's a hedge on the other side which may make the sound echo.  It also could do with unfamiliar surroundings, but I haven't seen her react this strongly since her meltdown in the covered arena in Santa Rosa.  Though then again she does the teeter when it's in the yard but it's not as noisy and it's familiar territory.

Should we continue with PP?  The class cycle started 6/27 though one class was canceled.  I think I'll give her to the end of the cycle and then decide.  It's starting to look like she could just be a drop in there and rejoin the other class though it's getting near full.  Then again she might get used to it, but it would take a long time.  She trembles there and won't usually come out of her crate when she's there without cajoling.

It might be a better approach to sacrifice more money to the agility gods and do a lot of trials in places with very open fields like Dixon and Prunedale.  I think this means she can enter the SMART trial, and maybe even enter Grand Prix where I can stick her back on the teeter.

Thu Jul 29
evening dog walks.  Took Yoshi down High Steet and back via Gibbons - didn't see many dogs.  Lots of streets to cross in the Fernside so it was interesting but more work.
With Trek I took her down two blocks of Broadway which she doesn't like but copes, she acually dealt with that better than going by the school that had some kids playing and some metal clanging.  She did try to drag me home after that so I spent a long time calling her back to me and rewarding that.

My back and left shoulder has been really sore starting a couple of days after running with Yoshi.  It was already sore from a gym cycling class, now it really hurts.  Going to have to come up with another way to run with him.

So I have a dilemma.  Aug 28-29 is a herding trial and the SMART agility trial.  Don't know what to do.  I want Yoshi to get his PT so I probably should enter both days of the herding trial, but if he gets his PT on Sat it would be way more fun to take Trek to agility even with the long drive.  But Trek really isn't in competing form except for jumpers courses.  I'm taking her to Rachelle on Friday to see if I can get her back on contact equipment.

Wed Jul 28
[noon] Yoshi walk - did fine.
Right at the end there was a young cocker being walked by 2 girls.  They stopped for a while and talked to my neighbor so Yoshi and I hung out in our driveway eating treats and playing LAT.  When they started to walk by us I just feed him continuously and that worked.

It's Yoshi and his siblings 7th birthday.  For his birthday he got a bone and I cancelled the eCollar order after a long email discussion with someone who is experienced with them and was telling me that I should get some training in it first.  I'm also realizing that there are other methods that I can use instead.  The beeping collar works well as an interrupter (he really doesn't like it, to the point that he got off the sofa when he saw it.  (I had it out so he could hang out on the living room sofa looking out the window - a place where he routinely loses it and is only there when supervised.)  There is more CU work that we can do as well

Trek was supposed to go to class at ODTC, but I was too wiped out to go.

So it finally occured to me that instead of going to the regional, I can just go to the SMART trial at the same location the weekend before. (Duh!)  I'll just enter her in the regular classes and tempting as it is to put her in Grand Prix I think I'll pass.  The advantage of GP is that there is no four paw rule and I can put her back on a teeter, but if she hops off a teeter then it takes forever to get her to do it again and that won't go over well at a trial.  Early on I did successfully put her back on a teeter during a GP run but she's gotten worse about them.  I could just not put her in standard at all but I really want to get that last PI Q and escape the 4 paw rule.  Closing date isn't until mid Aug so I have some time to think about it and watch her.

Need to put the teeter back up - and mow what lawn is there.

I also have to decide how long to keep her in Power Paws if she's happier at Rachelle's.  I'm going to take her there for a drop in or two and see if she's better there.  I could just have her be a perma drop-in on both classes, though she does so well during the jumpers portion of the PP class.

She keeps eyeing the bread I'm eating - maybe that should be a teeter reward.

Tue Jul 27
[noon] Yoshi walk went fine.

Trek PP class.
Nancy was out working a dog in the other part of the arena so Trek was stressing about the contact noise for a bit but then got into the jumpers part of the class and started having a nice time.  Then the contacts part started and we went back to the car which I had parked a ways off.  She could eat treats while that was going on so I took her out to the potty area and that was too close and she wanted to drag me back to the car.  she was a little better if I was holding her but she wasn't happy and I put her back in her crate.  Eventually she would come out for treats and seemed relaxed so I moved the car closer and she still would eat treats until the metal gate clanged and then she was back in the back of the crate.  I shut the car up and went and checked on class.  They were working on a gamble and I finally realized it didn't involve any contact equipment so she could likely do it.  I went back and she actually came out of the crate without having to drag her.  She was worried about being out there but was sort of able to focus though was acting erraticly at first but then settled.  Right after she dragged me back to the car.  Wouldn't pee.  Wouldn't drink water.

I am frustrated but it's nice that we didn't have to leave the grounds completely.  I'm wondering how long to continue this.

I'm thinking this weekend Yoshi should work sheep.  Not sure which day yet.  He's not really switching on to ducks.

Mon Jul 26
I finally did it. I bought an electric collar for Yoshi.  Figured I should do this before I kill him.

It would also be nice to not always have to have him attached to me, but find a way he can run around.  This does mean letting him run around dog parks where the behavior is not great.  What I don't know what to do is how to start.  With the remote collar we can work on his Barking in the Window behavior.  That will be a good way to see if the collar will work.  But at the dog park is tricky.  I want him to run around but not bite another dog.

I know a friend reluctantly uses one so that her dog can run free but can be kept from going into completely over-the-top prey drive mode.

I asked the CU_Dogs list for exercise ideas and one person said she uses a bike, but is very intrigued with Dog Scootering


I am thinking that if I attached him to the bike with the regular dog attachment (a walky dog) I could go slow and he would get exercise and if he lunged at a dog he would be tethered to the bike and while he wouldn't be dragged we can encourage him to keep going.

Walky dog

Walky dog and related items:

But the more I read this I think i really should run with him more and just make sure the leash is sttached to me in case I fall.  Maybe one of the rock climbing slinges would work for that

It is funny to think how Yoshi would be with something chasing him.  He would probably be doing his over the shoulder "Monster!" look.

[noon] Trek walk - did fine, no surprises.  On the walk I can tell her to stop (standing), I walk on and then I stop and then have her do a utilityish down and then sit and then recall - it's utilityish because I say the words along with the signals.  She was volunteering heeling today which was fun and we worked on that a little.

I did take Yoshi out running at Bay Farm.
Facebook update:
My Corgi is tired now, but it took running/trotting him 2 miles. I dread him getting into better shape. He was still pulling on me after a mile and a half.

Becaise the path along the water can be narrow and there are dogs out walking I put he beeping collar on, which came in very handy.  Twice we ran into dogs in close quarters and I had to use the beep repeatedly until he was able to focus on me.  Once the dog was so close I hung on to his collar to keep him close.  The beep startles and interrupts him for a moment until he can start to react again and I beep it again.  For the most part except in the narrow part right by Harbor Bay there was always something we could hide behind.

I have to remember that use being able to hide doesn't really help his training much unless he can see the dog approaching until we're at his threshold and then we go hide.  If he can't see the dog then there's pretty much no dog which makes things easy but does nothing to help his stress level.  Even near the end he wanted to react to a dog that was only 10' away (fair enough) however when he saw one across the street after his fun he didn't react at all.  He is mellower tonight.  He'll start to react/bark or play then instantly run out of steam.  there's a dog barking and he really must be tired as he'd bark and grouse for a short while then stop very quickly.  Hope I didn't over do it, but he'll be ok.  He usually gets a mile+ walk with a little bit of running.  This was mostly running and trotting.

I'm not sure if dog scootering woutl be right for him as he's a sprinter and does need occasional rest breaks, even if he was pulling on me after 1.5 miles.  (From the Bay Farm paring area to the concrete play area (the one before "Ship 66") where we turned around is just over a mile.

Trek dumbbell.  She can now retrieve on the flat or over a jump.  She holds it for the most part, but still drops it from time to time, but I'm not going to worry about that yet.  I think her original dumbbel is the best size for her.  Then we just played fetch with a toy for a while.

Yoshi's eye continues to improve.

Sun Jul 25
I'm working at the Bay Team's CPE trial today as a full timer.  I was going to be taking Yoshi just for the exposure but given his current situation he'll be comfortable at home barking at the neighborhood dogs instead of being stuck in a crate with a silly donut.  I then thought I'd bring Trek but the point is to give Trek a break from teeter noises so that would be counter productive.

[Later] They both would have hated the site (which is really nice) for various reasons.  Yoshi wouldn't have liked the dogs in such close proximity and Trek would not of liked the echoing noises.

Dog Walks.
The Art and Wine Festival is winding up so both dogs got walked down to Park Street for a block of exposure.  Yoshi would have been perfect but he lunged at a Silky Terrier even though we were hiding behind a truck and he only saw the dog retreating.  I was pretty peeved at him and he got carried rather roughly for some feet.  The rest of the chaos he was fine with.

Trek did well enough at Broadway that I decided to also walk her down to Park St.  One family stopped us to chat and say hello and talk about corgis and the kids got some coaching on how to be nice to dogs and what they like (no treats - I don't do treats and kids)  This was ok but then I decided to walk her down a block of Park St. and that was a little noisy and she got stopped again.  By this time she's shaking and I carry her for 1/2 a block away from Park St. and then walk her.  We even then went down Broadway again for 2 blocks and then headed back.  She wasn't shaking anymore, but she really wanted to go back home and kept trying to drag me.  Every time she hit the end of the leash I'd stop and call her back.

So both dogs are now relatively fine with Broadway.  Yoshi would probably be ok with Park St, but I think it's time for Yoshi to spend a fair amount of time at the small dog park on leash after going on a walk.  Trek will get the noon walk down some of Broadway or High St.  Yoshi will sometimes get shuttled down to the dog park to be walked around it and then consigned to the small dog park to walk around and eat treats.  Small moving dogs have to mean something good to him before I kill him.

Today Yoshi's eye is doing much better and he didn't have to wear the donut.  Hooray. I think the medicine is really helping it heal - the redness is mostly gone.

Sat Jul 24
Yoshi is still fussing with his eye like he was doing yesterday.  It's very red and even though it looks better, I decided to take him to Dr. Friedman.  She checked him thoroughly but there's nothing seriously wrong besides conjuntivitis.  She didn't find any foriegn matter so whatever it was has fallen out or healed and what's left is the soreness and redness.  We're now to give him NeoPolyDex drops on a titrating basis that we've written out.  (3 drops a day for 3 days, 2 drops a day for another 3 days, 1 drop a day for another 3 days, then every other day for another week.)  If he keeps rubbing his eye he'll have to wear a cone.  Right now he's wearing the donut of shame which is much more comfortable than a cone, but if he keeps rubbing at it (he sometimes throws himself into the bed) then he'll have to don coneware, but right now it's ok.

On Sheep.
I've decided that I'm not giving up.  I wouldn't feel right if we gave up, though it might be better for him to learn directionals on ducks where he can hear and think better.  I just always go back to how incredible he did with Judy V. and how she was trying to talk me into putting him in the Trial instead of the Test.  We need to figure this out.  I think while Linda is out of the country we can work on sheep some and just being calm around them.  (Which we have done before.)

Fri Jul 23
Dog Training Day  Yahoo.
Trek Novice Obedience class with Lori
I wanted to do the Open class since that's the level that I'm training her at but Yoshi has a herding lesson he needs to get to later in the day.  Besides having her work on Novice skills is not a bad thing as even though it's something she really likes, and is really good at it,, her obedience training has been haphazard at best so she has some holes.  Her heeling is not always the greatest yet on a heeling exercise she was brilliant.  She's not that thrilled to heel past a seated dog but that never happens during a trial.  Her stand for exam still needs some proofing as she's a little wiggly but all in all as Lori says it's probably good enough.  Her recall is fabulous and her stays for Novice are nearly perfect unless some metal crashes somewhere.  I'll have to work more on her off leash heeling, and maybe spend some time where the treats are no directly on me.

If I want to put her in rally I'll need to teach her a right hand finish as hers is just to the left right now.
I'm very pleased with how she did as she has found the setting at ODTC stressful before but I think she's mostly used to it and she likes the rewards.

Yoshi Duck Herding Lesson
I sum it up in a corgiherders post:

So we're in the process of trying to Yoshi interested in herding ducks
and it's an interesting process.

Ironically the dog (Trek) who we though didn't like herding at all
actually is doing better.  It turns out her issue is more with things
that tower over her.

Getting Yoshi interested in ducks is sort of like starting with a dog at
the instinct test level.

I spent a fair bit of time just walking around with the Call Ducks to
see if we could get him interested, then when he got interested we had
to get him understand that ducks are much more delicate than sheep and
you have to be nice to them and you can't pin them down, and then you
have to get him through the pouting "Well fine I don't want to play
anyway."  AND then he decides well this might be a fun thing to do and
then starts the process of how go get these creatures to move in a way
that works.

I sort of expected to go through this in one session, but it's been 3
(plus one aborted one with Runner Ducks).  This is going to be a longer
process than I expected.  What I'm hoping is that he is able to really
learn some good stock skills and sense in the process since you can't
herd ducks at Mach 9.  It's nice to see him having to really think as
opposed to just reacting.  Though he's still pouting some at being
forced to use his brain more.

I keep wondering if he misses sheep.  I wish I knew.  He's getting a three week break from these ducks so I certainly could work him on sheep, but I'm hoping he'll learn better skills from the ducks.  It's been so nice to not have to argue with him about sheep but now I'm having to encourage him a lot.  It was nice that just walking around with the ducks did get his attention.  Maybe that's a way to get him to work goats again through I watched someone set her dog up right near the goats as they were stopping and the goats walked right up to the dog which is exactly how Trek got flattened that one time.

Back to ducks.  I need to ask more about this but the idea is to have the dog move down the fence with the but you want the ducks off the fence because they like to hide there.  What I need to ask about that is that AKC herding does a lot of herding along the fence and even AHBA does some also, so how does keeping them in the center work with that?

Anyway right at the end of the 2nd session, he was able to stay on the fence and I was able to move into the center and the ducks came into the center and he was able to come around them and change their direction (and I then changed the wand to the other hand) and then we headed back the other direction.  He had been coming in the center himself which is less than ideal.

It was cool to have it finally work.  Felt good.

Yoshi's eye is a little swollen (was that was before herding) and I'm thinking I should beg Animal Eye Care for a same day appt.

Thu Jul 22
I still can't decide what to enter Trek in for the Super Regional or should I just work the trial.  The closing date isn't until Aug 13th, but I really should decide.
I'm pretty sure I want to go though I just did $300 of damage to my car by driving into a concrete step at Power Paws.  Susan Garrett very graciously refunded my class money when I asked since the class is $197 and that will help a lot.

I probably should try the idea of no teeters at all and see if that helps.

Here's what I cam up with before
Sat PSJ Rd 1
  PI Pairs Relay
  PII PSJ Rd 2
  PII Gamblers
  PII Snooker
Mon (if we were to do it - not likely)
  PII Jumpers

I think we'll just do Sat and Sun and work most of Sat.  The trick is that if we camp them we're stuck as we can't move the car once it's in a "campsite."  This means I have to plan food or we could just hotel it (more $ though), or I could bring my bike and ride down the hill for food.  Wait!  Never mind they're serving dinner on Saturday.  Cool.  And lunch is provided for workers so I just need to worry about snacks for me and dog food.

This Sunday is the CPE trial that I pulled Trek out of but I've offered to go down and work on Sunday.

Noon Trek walk.
So I'm changing our walks, to include Broadway.
Encounter with street sweeper.  We retreated down a side street and only had to go 1 house distance away and she wasn't freaked out.  We went down Broadway for one block which she found stressful but she's coping some panting but no hard pulling or slinking to try to get away.

Yoshi evening walk
Also went down Broadway from Buena Vista down to Central.  He's so good in noisier environments at least with traffic.  He doesn't like booming things right near him, but traffic doesn't bother him at all.  Saw a LWFD across Central who barked at us and he barked back but more in an excited hello way and he was easily distracted and was able to work.  Saw a teeny tiny dog and he was able to watch that too.  Unfortunately his owner crossed the street before we got close so we just watched them across the street.

New mileages (using: http://www.trails.com/googlemap.aspx which is actually much better that the regular Google Ped.)
It's funny how just walking down Santa Clara or Central is much better distance wise than trying to go across them.

Just going in a circle from house to Broadway down Santa Clara down to Court St. is a mile.
Down to High St is 1.2 miles.
I'd like us to work up to walks into town,
House to Park St vi Gibbons to Santa Clara 0.5 mile one way.
via Central 0.6 one way

Wed Jul 21
Noon Yoshi walk.  Did fine.  As we walked out he started to bristle and I pulled him back and then looked up to see a GSD on His lawn but who was retreating.  This is certainly a much more milder response than you would have gotten before.

Trek walk evening.
Went down Broadway for a block and she did ok and wasn't freaked out at all though was very aware of all of the noises.
She's come so far from being unable to be within a house distance of that street.  Broadway is busier than High St so this is raising the bar.  She did well on it on Sunday but this was with some weekday evening traffic (not a lot it was 7pm but still.)

Bone amusement
Gave the dogs bones to chew on (2nd round for these smokehouse bones).  Yoshi was so funny, he carried his outside as if he's going to be a real dog and bury his bone but he got out there and laid down and kept chewing - just couldn't part with it.  He seemed to be worried about Trek so after she peed I put her back in the house and then I went back to him.  When I told him to Go Pee he varied it around.  I took hold of it and we play some tug of war (not severe, not guarding) and I walked us over to where Trek had peed and told him to Give (he did) and I promised he could have it back.  He peed and I gave it back to him and he carried it back inside and back up on the bed where he was originally chewing on it.

He kept it up for another 15-20 minutes and I then traded with him by giving him a treat which worked well.  He obviously needs to be allowed more bones so he can learn to pace himself.

Tue Jul 20
I signed up for Susan Garrett's e-course on Brilliant Recalls.
The idea is to break things down to 5 minute sessions (which I already do usually).
I like to thing that I'm just as good of a dog trainer but she works way harder at it since it's her full time job and she's studied with Bob Bailey, and I always learn from other trainers (well many of them.)

Here is the first prelesson (the class starts Aug 1st.)

noon: Trek nails and quick walk for Yoshi.

Trek has agility class though we're just going to do the jumper's part of it.

So Dog Distractions 1-10 in order of severity.

radio, wind chimes



food on the ground


wind chimes
person calling him person calling her
a good place to pee
food on the ground
people with food
people with food
squirrel at 10' running
metal clanging
dog at 20' running/walking
multiple crashing teeters
a dog standing on his lawn
crashing teeters under covered arenas

Mon Jul 19
Walk for Yoshi and finally did his nails.

Sun Jul 18
Just walks - looong walks.
Yoshi went down Central all the way from High St. to Broadway and then when we were getting close to home turned off to follow some dogs which he did really well with even with one (largish Tibetan Terrier) that was starting at him stiffly.  We actually caught back up with them after chasing some other dogs and he still did great.  Things didn't start off so well as a Golden appeared out of nowhere right at the beginning and all I could do was just hold him with the leash.  What's interesting is that he settled down anyway after the initial bark and lunge.  These days I haven't had to be nearly as elaborate in my set ups as a dog approaches though I do have to be aware of them to have complete success.

Trek's walk had a wild puppy right in front of the house.  I kept saying "take your dog to class" over and over again.  which was probably hopeless but I tried anyway.  Just to make a point I put Trek in a down dropped the leash and walked up to the puppy and said hello for a second.  Then Trek and I went in the other direction.  She also went down Broadway for a while and she did great which I'm pleased about.  I think she's getting used to it and it was Sunday afternoon which is a nice slow time.  I should keep that in mind as a good time for adventuring further forth - maybe even into town.

Trek needs to learn more Tricks though I want her dumbbell better first.  I'd love for her to be able to roll over, back up, and play soccer.

Worked her and the dumbbell in the backyard with her.  She's able to hold the dumbbell and wait for me to take it.  Mostly - she still fiddles with it in her mouth but less so and I can put my hand on her mouth to get her to stop messing with it.  When she picks it up she doesn't get it in the right place behind her canines but I think she'll get it.
She's also able to sit by my side and stay while I throw the dumbbell and she'll fetch it.  (I don't make her sit then)
AND today I set the jump up and put her in a stay with the dumbbell in her mouth which she promptly spit out but she picked it up again and then jumped over the jump with it.
Then i had her stay with me and I threw it over the jump and she went and got it!  Did it one more time and stopped.  This is way further than I was hoping.
I'm using my original dumbbell as it fits her better and she doesn't seem to need the increased diameter.

I'm having a command name collision as I need on for go to the back of the herd and another for Back Up.  I think "Back" is going to go for herding though I've already been using it in obedience but it's not solid.  Maybe that one will be Reverse or Beep.  though it's tempting to make the herding one "back of the bus" but under pressure that's not going to happen.  Back is nice and sharp and works well for herding.  Having a dog take steps backwards doesn't require quick thinking.

Sat Jul 17
Yoshi and Trek Duck Herding
Today was just supposed to be Yoshi's day but Trek asked to go along too, and she wound up doing one of the sessions.
Yoshi isn't so sure about the Runner Ducks and is very leery of them.  This does concern me but he has a lesson scheduled with Linda's Call Ducks on the 23rd and I'm hoping that builds his confidence. 

Trek was better and could actually herd them.  She doesn't know as much about flanking but she's able to move them around decently.  She's doing herding just to build her confidence but she's also proving to be a good Corgi ambassador because she's so easy to control.

I'm wondering if Yoshi should work more with heavy sheep or not.  The skills he needs for fowl are pretty different than for sheep - his willingness to move slower around the ducks is a good thing.  I think it's more an exposure thing, so we'll just do more ducks of whatever type.  I think we need to work more on actually moving the Call Ducks in a specific direction.

Next year's Corgi Trial has been scheduled for 4/30-5/1 2011.  Yahoo.  I have to decide whether to have Yoshi finish his PT there or not.  I think so as the idea of going to a different trial stresses me out.  Though hopefully he'll get to compete on fowl.

At Yosemite getting chewed on by mosquitoes and doing a climbing class.  Trek moped for a little while and then recovered, but when I got back wouldn't let me out of her sight.

Wed Jul 14
Prepping for a short Yosemite Trip so no noon dog walk.

My classmates are being so understanding and I'm getting a lot of "been there here's my experience" emails that describe their working through all sorts of dog fears.

Thank you all for the support about Trek.

Your understanding just really underscores for me that issue-free dogs are rare.

I had one (Cali) and in a way it's a bit of a curse as you always then subsequently feel like a failure.

I think for a little while we'll just do the jumpers portion and then say our polite goodbyes, so Trek can have some good time in class..
It's a bummer for me because then I don't get to chat with you all as long, but in the future I'll see if I can find a quieter place in the back parking area though even that may not be enough quiet at first.

Tue Jul 13
Noon Yoshi walk uneventful

Trek Power Paws Agility class.  I'm so torn up about what I'm putting Trek through taking her there.
I just wrote a letter to my classmates about it:

Greeting Tues Power Paws folks,

I so don't know what to do about Trek and Power Paws.  As long as the teeter isn't in use, she's fine happily running and learning great stuff.  As soon as it is then she's a trembling mess and just wants to hide in her crate in the car.  It's not her doing a teeter so much as all the other teeter sounds.  Seeing my sweet, smart, talented dog reduced to such a state is just killing me and I'm really at a loss.
Ironically because you all are so accomplished, Trek could just do the non-contact portion of the class and still get more runs in than at a non-PP class, so it's actually worth the trip even for half a class.  While it's getting harder and harder for me to see her this way (and I have to coax her out of her crate whenever she's at PP), we're going to continue for a little while though I think as soon as you all move to contacts I'm going to put her in the car with her Thundershirt on.  Even what we tried today with us staying all the way at the other end of the field when you started the contacts wasn't far enough away.

She is home now and has recovered though a bit subdued.

I should just let her be the obedience dog that she wants to be, but can't quite face having another dog wash out of agility just yet.  If I would just switch her over to NADAC we'd be fine, but I mostly do agility to spend time with my friends and most of you aren't at NADAC.  I'm such a USDAA person anyway.

It's so awful seeing how she is when she's trembling with such anxiety.  I keep thinking I shouldn't be torturing a dog who is so attached to me.  It's like she can't trust me to keep her safe and that's not very easy to deal with.

Mon Jul 12
A.M. Trek still doesn't want to go outside this morning because of the baking tray that used to be there.
Noon she was still hesitant until she noticed the bread in my hand.  Then suddenly she was very brave.  This is after I had let Yoshi out and she was standing back 20' from the back door.  I think she finally figured out that the tray was gone.  I invited her to look around a little bit and that may have helped I don't know.
She's so funny sometimes.  She really has to decide for herself that something is ok.  You really can't talk her into it (though I still try.)

Trek walk - uneventful.
She's been hiding in her crate at noon and won't come out when I call her (maybe I should use bread but she's 1/2 pound overweight so i don't want to give her too much.)  What i do is go in her crate and clip the leash on and then stand back up and call her and that seems to work for now.  It's not like going on a walk at noon is new for her at all.

Not a doggy weekend.  Mostly playing fetch and dog walks.
The parked car maneuver continues to work smoothly.
i made a mistake with training Trek and it was the dumbest thing.
I had been working with her with a baking tray and then had left it by the door and it got kicked accidentally 2-3 times.
Now she doesn't want to go outside - stupid oversight: whack head.
I've moved the tray and we'll see how long before she stops worrying about it.

Fri Jul 9
The Bay Team Super Regional premium is out now, and I have to decide what to put Trek through and what just to work and what I might have Yoshi at.
If we do an overnight then it's really hard to have Yoshi along and get any sleep (to be honest I haven't tried it so maybe I'm just being a chicken, but I do want the time to be mine and Trek's since Trek isn't yet that happy with the environment.

I'm wondering how long do I put her through going to trials.  She may get used to them, but she's not liking them now.  There's already a list of places I don't take her.
 - Santa Rosa's covered arena
 - (The one at WAG is ok because NADAC doesn't have a teeter)
 - Turlock and its trains right beside the ring

So far Dixon, Woodland are fine as long as it's not too hot
and Prunedale is the obvious winner even though it is further away for me and makes driving back and forth difficult though she's ok with staying overnight since that's quiet and she gets a lot of attention that way.

I think camping one day will work.


2 PII Gamblers
1 PII Snooker
1 PII Jumper (ironic as this is her best class - but it's often too hot by the time it comes around)

and the perennial
2 PI Standard
1 PI Pairs Relay (I wasn't going to worry about more Relay till she's at PII - but that's silly if we're stopping Standard for a while, she's running well enough and we can beg off of any teeters.)

I'm rereading the description of Performance Speed Jumping (PSJ) which is another version of Steeplechase.
It's a jumpers style course with A frame and weavepoles one of which is to be taken twice..  There is also a Long Jump which she doesn't see often but since they've redesigned it, it looks like a jump and not a mini dog walk.  No teeter.  Sounds like a winner to me.  There is no qualifying leg required for the Performance version (there is for regular Steeplechase).

So the schedule looks like
Sat PSJ Rd 1
  PI Pairs Relay
  PII PSJ Rd 2
  PII Gamblers
  PII Snooker
Mon (if we were to do it - not likely)
  PII Jumpers

Thu Jul 8
More dog walk city.  Mark's mom came over and played with Cooper and Cameo so they are already tired which is nice, though Cameo was sore and so we just went out to sniff.

Wed Jul 7
Yoshi walk - the parked car maneuver makes his walk so much easier.  No more hurried street crossing.  What was funny is we did that with an approaching GSD with no problem, even let the dogs directly approach for a little while, but when he saw a small dog across the street and I didn't go hide, he barked.  Though he chilled out quickly.

Tue Jul 6
Dog walk city.  I'm walking Cooper and Cameo today as well.  Both of them did well.  Cameo still gets sore so her walk was about half the distance of Cooper's.  I even used the parked car evasion technique when Cooper and I nearly walked into another dog and person.  Mark had mentioned that they were barky at other dogs but separately I don't see that though Cameo does bark some (not serious though).

Trek's class is canceled today.

Mon Jul 5

I have finally figured out Trek's noise issues.  Took me long enough, though there were some red herrings that threw me off the track.

This doesn't mean I have solved them, in fact I may never do so, but at least I understand them.

Trek doesn't like
 - barking dogs in enclosed spaces
 - humans yelling loudly, or calling out in a stressed way
 - whacking, percussive thudding sounds  - she hates bouncing balls
 - metal on metal sounds, even wind chimes used to make her nervous
    and she doesn't like schools with loud kids and a ton of balls bouncing and metal clanging (this is improving)

One or two of these sounds will startle her, but she'll recover, but things build and in the space of hearing 3 or more closely spaced teeters (or other) she'll start to shake, stress pant, run under cover, and if attached to me will try to drag me to the car so she can be in her crate, and she sometimes (often) will not come out of that crate while the sounds are continuing.  Last time at Power Paws she wouldn't come out until the teeter sounds had stopped for 10 minutes.

Mysteriously Trek doesn't care about
 - fireworks
 - recorded music (even deliberately really loud thudding music with the subwoofer turned way up and the walls shaking - Zzzzzz)

Trek grew up with 25-30 well cared for Corgis.  Many of them live in a large room full of crates attached to the house (actually it's an integral part of the house - I've seen it.).  If you put 25 Corgis in a room it's a good bet that at least half of them will start barking many times a day.

And what do we humans do to shut them up (me included for the first two)
 - yell or shout
 - yell or shout louder
 - whack the wall or table top
 - bang metal (a bigger version of pennies in a coke can)
 - for great effect take a pot and whack it on the countertop

The perpetrators settle down with silly, gleeful expressions on their faces.  What you're not seeing is the quiet dog who is cowering at the back of his/her crate.

One thing that threw me off was that her breeder said that they have a duck hunting season and the dogs usually don't like being outside when the shotguns are going off.  I now think that the only difference that experience made was to make her indifferent to fireworks.

So I'm left with: Now what?  It really helps to understand the problem so I'm not wasting my time on things that don't matter.  But she went through TWO years of this and she's already better but she's 5 now.  She's never going to like it - even with all the continuing counter conditioning.  She's happy making noise like doing teeters, but other times she isn't controlling the noise must feel like a reprimand.

She's actually fine with me yelling at Yoshi to stop barking.  Maybe I should look more carefully to see what it is about that that's ok.  I can also do a lot of counter conditioning with bouncing balls since they are a source of fun too.  But how to make a teeter sound fun besides just feeding her around them?  I think that we'll just have to get some real distance between us and the teeter and just feed her there and work our way up.  I'll have to get to class early to work on the teeter separately before anyone else is on it.  I think us taking a lot of breaks from the sounds would be good too (like the Control Unleashed game Give Me a Break.)

Poor kid.  This could be so fun for her, and I'm hoping it eventually can be.

Sun Jul 4
Just remembered that the raffle person was bringing something I'd won awhile back to this trial so I'm going to drag myself over and take both dogs and work on their issues separately.

The prize was a massage certificate (yay) and a dog snuggy which doesn't really fit them very well, but ok.

I switched off working each dog throughout the morning.

Trek is not happy about all the commotion (gamblers was running and the numbers calling and the horns were a lot and there was a teeter and dogs barking too.
When I showed her to a friend later she didn't see the stress that Trek was going through because it was too subtle and less intense since the only thing going on was the teeter then, and all she was doing was stress panting.  My big clue is her trying to drag me to the car and her crate.  But she was willing to bug people for treats.

Yoshi was happy to get out there and work and did great mostly unless a dog came too close moving (3x) however I had a hold of him everytime, and what was fantastic is that he is now able to heel past many dogs standing or moving (walking).  The trick is getting his attention again after I've given him a treat.  It's almost better to have something he can just lick.  Cheese works great in this case, but cream cheese or peanut butter would work also or even just holding a soft treat and letting him have only a little of it.

It's weird that he's actually now happier in the environment than Trek is.  Sound like we should just go, but not enter or just enter games classes with Trek.

BUT! later when the fireworks start.  It's Trek who's ok and Yoshi is unhappy, but more in the Intruder! sort of way.  I made a video of it.

What is so different about a teeter and a firework?  Something must be about the proximity, but some of the fireworks were quite close this year.
But super close proximity seems to make a difference.  She would likely react to fireworks much closer to her, but even when I'm 150' from a teeter she responds.  One thing is that there are no metallic sounds in fireworks and anything that clangs is like fingernails on a chalkboard to her.

In between agility and fireworks, both dogs went for walks.  Trek's was fine.  Yoshi's was great.  Twice we used a parked car to go around a dog on the same side walk and it worked fantastic.  One we were passing a dog and person who had stopped and the other was a dog approaching.  For the approaching dog, again I waited by the back of a parked car until the dog was closer and then just kept the other dog on the opposite side of the car.  This is actually much easier that having to cross the street.  I do let Yoshi see the dog some but when the dog disappears on the other side of the car he seems not to care.

Sat Jul 3
No agility today.  Phew.
So I'm spending the day going through old photos.  Found some of Flint's cake and retirement celebration and put them on Facebook and sent them to Gail.

Yoshi walk.
A dog on Fairview started barking at him on the other side of a wire gate.  He started to return fire but I go his attention and he sat beside me and was able to heel past the dog (who had calmed down - the dog's people got to watch too which I don't know made any difference at all but things went really well so hopefully someone noticed.

We got to repeat this again for a Labrador he often sees and the two white dogs next door..  Then the real test was a dog approaching on our side of the street.  We stopped right at a parked car while I waited to see if the dog was going to come this way.  They did so we slipped around the street side of the parked car which went perfectly.  Phew.

I need to announce the CU Games DVD viewing party in August.

Fri Jul 2
I managed to come back from Shasta with a Cold and I've been sick for the last 3 days.  Only now sort of functioning.
I did work with Trek's noise sensitivity using a baking tray - either moving or taping it.  It's funny that moving (tilting) it gets the stronger reaction.  And when she goes on overload then she's done.  I can even work with the surprisingly resilient Yoshi and she doesn't care.

She's eaten something that's making her throw up. I think it's a small piece of fruit that the squirrels steal from next door and eat in the trees and drop most of it on the ground.  Can't really tell.  She's pretty quiet right now (so am I).

Her last class at Frielance is tonight.  I think I'll just take her and not worry about Yoshi, as I'm not up to keeping track of two dogs.

Tomorrow she is entered in the Bay Team's USDAA agility trial at Prunedale.  Hope I recover enough to be able to function.
Had an attack of good sense and scratched her from the trial.  I called the vet and they gave me some basic advice but mostly to keep an eye on her.
They didn't think i should feed her but I did because it seemed to settle her tummy down.
I haven't been well enough to train her today so she hasn't eaten anything since breakfast and whatever she was scavenging.  She seems ok so I'm going to take her to her last class at Freilance

Trek Freilance Agility class.
Same deal.  She would do a teeter once when nothing else was going on but no more once other dogs did it as well.  In everything else she did really well and she's getting to the point where I have to jog to keep up with her in the weavepoles.  Deliberately did a few optional rear crosses and she drove ahead nicely.  I even was able to drive her over a jump and have her carry out enough where I could say "left tunnel" and she took it fine without hesitation.

She's always been a little leery of the tire but today couldn't stay away from it and I just left her take it off course twice, because it was so nice to see her running so well.  She was getting stressed by some of the commotion but I put her shirt on her and that seemed to help.  Every so often she'd poop out and I paused and fed her talked to her happily and goosed her or thunked her side.  Such things usually don't work, but they did this time.

Tried the teeter again and lured her up it but she wasn't very happy about it.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2010

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2009
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2008
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